- Bookmaker Betfred is ultimately owned by gambling mogul Fred Done
- The firm made a pre-tax loss of £18.1m, down from a profit of £32.4m
- Despite this, Done added to his estimated £1.3bn fortune with a £10.2m dividend
Betfred gambling mogul, Fred Done
Britain’s largest privately-owned bookmaker – and a vocal critic of Government plans to curb betting on so-called ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines – has plunged into the red.
Betfred, which is ultimately owned by gambling mogul Fred Done, made a pre-tax loss of £18.1 million, down from a profit of £32.4 million.
Despite the red ink, 75-year-old Done added to his estimated £1.3 billion fortune with a £10.2 million dividend, the same as the previous year.
Done and his brother Peter founded Betfred in 1967 and the company now runs 1,666 betting shops.
The business also includes the racing pool business Tote and Totepool, which it acquired in 2011.
The Mail on Sunday revealed last month that Done was considering a judicial review to try to overturn the Government’s plans to place a £2 limit on the stake on fixed-odds betting terminals, which have been described as the crack cocaine of gambling amid claims that their use is highly addictive.
Betfred boss Mark Stebbings said at the time that the proposed cut in the stake was ‘disproportionate’ and based on politics rather than hard evidence.
He added that the consequences would include direct and indirect job losses, empty shops on the high street and ‘a massive funding hit for the horseracing industry’.
Fall: Betfred made a pre-tax loss of £18.1 million, down from a profit of £32.4 million
The latest accounts reveal that the amount gambled in Betfred and Tote shops and online rose from £10.8 billion to £12.7 billion.
Turnover for the year ended September 24, 2017 increased from £579 million to £634 million.
However, after expenses, gaming duties and internet write-downs, the bottom line showed a loss.
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